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Express & Star wins right to name killer kids

The Express & Star has successfully overturned a naming ban on two children who broke into a zoo and battered two wallabies to death.

The West Midlands newspaper persuaded district judge Michael Morris that it was in the public interest to lift reporting restrictions on the names and ages of the boys.

It wrote to magistrates at an earlier hearing and made another representation when the 11-year-olds appeared before Dudley Youth Court.

In the letter, Express & Star deputy editor Keith Harrison highlighted the public outcry that the case had caused and argued that it was in the public interest to name the children.

The judge said there was a fine balance to consider and he didn’t agree with “naming and shaming”, but he said he believed the boys should be identified to stop them offending again.

He also said there was “great concern” as to their motives for returning to Dudley Zoo to carry out a second attack, but turned down an application to name a 10-year-old also involved in one of the attacks.

The overturning of the order came in time for the Express & Star to change its front page for later editions, with a picture of the two boys.

After the case Dudley Zoo praised the Express & Star for keeping the story in the public domain.

Editor Adrian Faber said: “We were delighted with the judge’s decision.

“This story created a big public outcry and we felt we were doing our duty by asking the courts for the boys to be named.”

The success in naming the boys continues the Express & Star’s vigorous approach in challenging orders it believes are made unnecessarily.

It has won the right to name defendants in several court cases after making representations to judges and magistrates.

Earlier this year it also managed to obtain pictures of more than 20 youths currently on anti-social behavioural orders as part of a feature in which every ASBO child in the circulation area was named and shamed.

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Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk

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